Word of the Day : March 20, 2015


noun ZEFF-er


1 a : a breeze from the west

b : a gentle breeze

2 : any of various lightweight fabrics and articles of clothing

Did You Know?

For centuries, poets have eulogized Zephyrus, the Greek god of the west wind, and his "swete breeth" (in the words of Geoffrey Chaucer). Zephyrus, the personified west wind, eventually evolved into zephyr, a word for a breeze that is westerly or gentle, or both. Breezy zephyr may have blown into English with the help of William Shakespeare, who used the word in his 1611 play Cymbeline: "Thou divine Nature, thou thyself thou blazon'st / In these two princely boys! They are as gentle / As zephyrs blowing below the violet." Today, zephyr is also the sobriquet of a lightweight fabric and the clothing that is made from it.


"There was not even a zephyr stirring; the dead noonday heat had even stilled the songs of the birds." - Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, 1876

"Strangely enough, by the end of a Maine winter, a 32-degree breeze feels like a palm-scented zephyr from Bali." - Brett Willis, Portland (Maine) Press Herald, January 8, 2015

Test Your Memory

Fill in the blank in this sentence from our March 12th Word of the Day: "The idea of trust is an important theme in the book; the reader is never sure of the extent of the protagonist's __________." The answer is …


play alt-5ea63f6c859d2

'Zephyr' — Video Word of the Day 4/27/2020

noun - a gentle breeze


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!